Some people call these bliss balls, I just call them date balls. Snack dates are the basis for them and other ingredients can be added to provide a little variety. I make these in batches and they form part of my kids daycare lunch boxes. They contain no processed sugar but dates provide a natural sweetness that is more than enough to class these as treats. Once made I keep them in the fridge and occasionally grab one myself for a bite sized delight. Although my method and recipe changes every time I make them I’ve included my notes from the latest batch. I never make these with nuts because 99% of them go to daycare. Makes approx 30 date balls Ingredients 23 medjool dates (aka a big handful) 3 tablespoons organic cacao powder Optional 1/4 cup fine shredded coconut or coconut flakes 1/4 cup dried cranberries finely chopped 1/4 cup bran sticks chopped 1/3 cup quinoa puffed 3 tablespoons chia seeds Extra dry ingredients for rolling (coconut, cacao powder, chia seeds, bran sticks, quinoa puffed). Method I leave the dates out of the fridge to soften and if needed put them on the windowsill. You could probably use a food […]
We’ve dispatched a few roosters now but while our own piggies fatten we are looking locally to fill our freezer. Our latest purchase was a whole deer. We were really pleased to find a local supplier. They had only been in business a few short months when we found them but were happy to support my request to supply the meat in my own containers instead of on foam trays and wrapped in plastic. I added a few more pieces to my Pyrex collection and the supplier even picked them up from my house (how’s that for local service). The roasts were wrapped in plastic so I’d like to think about suitable containers for them for my next order. We ended up with 15 kilograms of butchered venison which cost us $10 a kilo. For $150 we estimate this will supply over 15 meals. As we work through the deer we thought we would document the journey. Here are the cuts we received: Loin chops x 12 Y bone steak x 7 T bone steak x 12 2.5 kgs of diced meat Shanks x 2 Small shoulder roast Massive leg roast (1.8 kg) Ribs Forequater x 8 Osso Bucco Neck And here […]
Have you made a jam that is too runny? Is it more of a sauce? We all have food fails from time to time. That’s how I developed this recipe. I’ve got a no-processed sugar banana muffin recipe I have been making for years now. This is a variation of that recipe. Makes 48-50 mini muffins Ingredients 5 ripe bananas 2 cups wholemeal plan flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda 1 egg 60 grams soft butter 1/3 cup ‘strawberry jam’ 1/3 cup milk or yoghurt 2/3 cut wholemeal rolled oats Method Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In mixing bowl mash bananas with a fork. Add the egg and soft butter. Combine with a wooden spoon or in a mixer. Add flour, bicarb, baking powder and oats. Continue to mix. Add milk/yoghurt and strawberry jam. Grease the muffin tins with butter. Spoon in mix and bake for 18 – 20 mins. Rotate trays from top to bottom after 10 mins if cooking in a smaller oven. Leave to cool in the muffin tin. These can be frozen and make a great lunchbox addition. The sugar content of this recipe will depend on how you make your strawberry jam.
Picnics are fun. Planning makes it a more enjoyable and less wasteful affair. Keep some basic supplies in the car or on hand and you are ready for any impromptu occasion too. Here are a few things to consider when making a picnic less wasteful. Be prepared. It is easy to be less wasteful if you plan well. Try to cater realistically for the number of adults and children. Choose foods that have no or minimal packaging. Pack a container for each person. This also acts to control portions and cuts out the need for plates etc. Take food scraps home for the dog, chooks, worms or compost. Opt for reusable items wherever you can. These include fabric napkins, real plates and cutlery etc. Some foods don’t require cutlery. Cut up items at home and perhaps you don’t need any cutlery at all. Take individual water bottles (most kids already have these). Use seasonal produce and shop locally. Use the opportunity to remind children about the importance of living gently. Tell them what you are doing and why.
These tips help kids focus on good food. They also apply to all packed lunches in the home. Over-packaged and branded food items targeted at children are generally more expensive and higher in sugar. Nude food is the way to go. Here are a few tips to create a green lunchbox. Swap single use packaging for reusable packaging. Use food bags instead of plastic wrap. Food bags come in lovely designs, different sizes, feature zips or velcro closures and are washable in the dishwasher or washing machine. Buy in bulk. Fill your own containers with snack items such as yoghurt, cheese, sultanas, corn puffs, dried apricots, rather than buying them in individually packets. Use existing containers and create dividers by inserting smaller containers or silicone cups. Invest in quality containers and drink bottles. Consider using stainless steel instead of plastic. Label everything. Replacing items costs money and is wasteful. Make your own muffins, muesli bars, biscuits etc. Freeze in batches in pull out individually the night before. Other eco tips Shop locally and support green grocers. Take your own reusable shopping bags or ask for boxes. Buy seasonal produce.
I started making fruit ‘cakes’ for my son’s first birthday. It was important for me that we continue with a sugar free diet as long as possible. I have since discovered they are a lot of fun to create (definitely a challenge too) and are always a hit with kids and adults. It has now become a bit of a tradition and with two children I get creative every 6 months. Here are my fruit creations so far… Butterfly This one is the latest and was for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. We hired the local community centre so needed to transport this (only 900 metres away). It was handy to have it flat and I was able to take it in a large plastic container in the boot of my car. Here are my tips on making the butterfly. Try for fruit that is not too juicy. Using the watermelon skin to create the wings helps to contain the fruit. Use wooden toothpicks to hold key junctions. These can be composted afterwards. Try to make the watermelon wing outline thick so you have a decent wall to contain fruit. This look better as you can pile the fruit more and […]